Teen Awarded State Senate Liberty Medal

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Oliver Rein, a 16-year-old Great Neck junior firefighter who extricated two people from a car after it crashed into a tree in August, received the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal from Senator Elaine Phillips.

Senator Elaine Phillips presented Oliver Rein, a 16-year-old Great Neck junior firefighter, with the New York State Senate’s Liberty medal, one of the highest civilian honors a New York resident can receive.

Earlier this year, Rein extricated two injured people from a car after it had crashed into a tree.

“Oliver Rein embodies all of the characteristics of a true hero: courage, bravery and selflessness,” said Phillips. “Without hesitation, instead of running away or calling for help, Oliver ran toward the danger to ensure the driver and passenger received the care they needed. It was my pleasure to award Oliver with the much-deserved New York State Senate Liberty Medal for his tremendous act of heroism.”

Senator Elaine Phillips (fourth from left) presented the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal to Oliver Rein (center) and a formal New York State Proclamation to David Adler (third from left).

Phillips also presented a formal New York State Proclamation to David Adler, a Great Neck resident, who assisted Rein in carrying the two people to safety.

Rein and Adler were walking along Middle Neck Road in August when a car came speeding around a bend and crashed into a tree. Without hesitation, even though the car was smoking and sparking, Rein, a two-year junior firefighter with the Great Neck Alert Volunteer Fire Company, ran to the car and pried open the crushed door. When he opened the door, he saw a motionless male driver in his 20s covered in blood. Unsure if the driver was alive at first, Rein made verbal contact, extricated the man from the car and kept him calm until assistance arrived. Rein and Adler carried the man to safety and then pulled out the passenger.

Senator Elaine Phillips presents 16-year-old Great Neck junior firefighter Oliver Rein with the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal.

The highest civilian honor a state senator can bestow on a New Yorker, the New York State Senate Liberty Medal is awarded to citizens who have merited special commendation for their actions on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers and their community.

Great Neck Alert Fire Company Ex-Chief James Neubert also presented a special award to the Alert Junior Firefighter, who’s an 11th grader at Ramaz High School in Manhattan, in recognition of his actions at the early-morning accident at the intersection of Middle Neck Road and Beach Road.
From left: Alert Fire Company Chairman Mike Green; Rabbi Dale Polakoff, Great Neck Synagogue; David Adler, who helped at the accident; Senator Elaine Phillips; Oliver Rein; Alert Fire Company President Michael Berry; Ex-Chief James Neubert; and Chief of the Alert Fire Company Steve Schwartz.
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Since 1908, the Great Neck Record has served the communities of Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock, Thomaston and the unincorporated areas as a source for local news and community events.

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